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Stocks Skid as Sales Drop at McDonald's

Stocks skidded Tuesday as disappointing sales from McDonald's offset an earnings beat from FedEx. Gains in the dollar also weighed on the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 100 points at the halfway point.

President Obama unveiled his latest plans to stimulate the economyand create jobs, including new tax cuts for small businesses and measures to support renewable-energy manufacturing.

This came after banking analyst Meredith Whitney, who said on CNBC that the government is running out of ways to help the economy.

"I think they're out of bullets,"Whitney said.

One of her biggest concerns is a lack of credit access for consumers, who are "getting kicked out of the financial system."

The dollar edged higher against major currencies after Fitch downgraded Greece's credit rating. The U.S. currency held its ground even after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday gave strong indications that the central bank would not be raising rates and defending the US currency anytime soon.

Oil fell below $73 a barrel, while gold dropped below $1,155 an ounce.

McDonald'swas the biggest drag on the Dow after the fast-food giantsaid same-store sales fell 0.6 percentin November, the second straight monthly decline.

And 3M, which makes everything from Post-It notes to Scotch tape, issued a forecast that missed expectations.

That offset an encouraging report after the bell Monday: FedEx delivered earnings that handily beat its previous forecast.

Texas Instruments will release its mid-quarter update at about 5 pm.

Elsewhere, ExxonMobil, and its partners have given final approval to a $15 billion liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, expected to start delivering gas to Asian customers in 2014.

Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report
Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report



The Wall Street Journal reported that United Airlines is splitting a new order of 50 widebody jets between Boeing and Airbus.

The Journal also reported that Seagate Technology, the biggest maker of computer disk drives, is planning to expand into the market for solid-state drives, devices that store data on memory chips.

In addition, the Journal reported that P&G Chairman A.G. Lafley will be stepping down from his post on Jan. 1, 2010.

And the Treasury kicked off three days of auctions today, selling $40 billion of 3-year notes at a high yield of 1.223 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.98.

The Treasury will auction $21 billion in 10-year notes tomorrow, followed by $13 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday.

This Week:

ALL WEEK: Copenhagen climate summit
TUESDAY: CIT bankruptcy hearing; GE capital investor meeting; 3-year auction
WEDNESDAY: BoE meeting; AOL spinoff; weekly mortgage applications; Madoff hearing; weekly crude inventories; 10-year auction
THURSDAY: BoE rate decision; AOL shares begin trading; international trade; weekly jobless claims; 30-year auction; Earnings from Costco
FRIDAY: Government report on retail sales; import/export prices; business inventories; Art Nadel hearing

Send comments to cindy.perman@nbcuni.com.